Taiwan 2015!

Hey guys,

So alot of things have been happening since the year started. I’ve been frantically searching for a job, my phone died, I had to visit the columbarium, trigger issues, but most importantly, I WENT TO TAIWAN! 

Yes, after a long 11 years of not getting on a plane and going anywhere, I finally have.

Despite having the worst trigger breakdown before the trip, I still managed to survive the plane ride in an extremely crammed space with non-aligning window to seat ratios for 5 hours and have a great time.

DAY #1

20150124_084935 20150124_135831
When we touched down, the air was crisp and cool. It was heaven I tell you. We took awhile to check out and find our bags. Also, I almost forgot my passport in the toilet. Hehehe… But you can’t blame me (I think) at that point of time, I had been bleeding for a solid month (TMI) and was slightly dizzy. Trust me, a red passport was the last thing I’d want to see in my hands.
20150124_150321
The hotel room was small and cozy. I had to share a bed for the first time in a while and had pretty much bed sleep the rest of the nights if I didn’t manage to fall into deep sleep first. You guessed it, bed-buddy was a snorer while I am a light sleeper. We both are (light sleepers) just that she snores while I don’t know how to. Running around on too little sleep eventually got the best of me, and after I almost skipped an entire day of touring because of an extremely heavy head, I skipped the last day’s breakfast to sleep in.

I would have slept on the plane as well, if the guys in front of me didn’t keep adjusting their chairs, literally giving my one middle finger’s worth of space.
20150124_154748 20150124_154758 20150124_161007
Here’s a picture of what we practically overdosed on. Till now, I’m still fighting the itch to buy bubble tea every time I pass by a shop while I try my best to go back to being fit in the gym.
20150124_174135 20150124_182237
DAY #2
20150125_091215 20150125_095513
I figured that we should try to take public transport since cabbing everywhere was going to put a dent in our finances. I found their temporary tickets rather fascinating. They were in the form of coins that we used to tap in through gantries like cards and we returned them by feeding them back into the gantries as if we were buying something from a vending machine.

So sustainable!!!

If only Singapore would adopt this. No one would steal the little coins either since technically you wouldn’t be able to exit the station if you don’t return it. Also, the fares are so much cheaper than Singapore’s, only a few cents per ride. Maybe they took into account that people wouldn’t be able to steal the coins and thus didn’t factor in that cost as some sort of deposit. 
20150125_104106
While looking for Kinokuniya (courtesy of me. I even found directions to the mall!), we walked past an authentic BlackBall (I think, since Black ball is originally from Taiwan right?) and went in to have dessert. This was less than an hour after we had breakfast.

The dessert was great. Everything was.. chewier and lighter as compared to Singapore’s version. I guess it’s because we prefer a stronger taste of yam/sweet potato. Nonetheless, eating a piping hot dessert in a windy 20degree environment was… rot worthy. We didn’t move from our spot for a good hour.
20150125_123017 20150125_130214 20150125_142235
Majority of our trip consisted of us eating, walking, shopping and sleeping. Sometimes it didn’t matter where.
The above picture was taken in a beef noodle restaurant. The first I have ever gone to. It kind of reminded me of Yoshinoya (a beef rice bowl fast food restaurant in SG) since it looked rather commercialized though I’d never seen another of it’s branches anywhere else that I had been in Taipei. 
20150125_151439
Behold, my most favourite night market food in SG that I found at Xi Men Ding. Smelly tofu.
Apparently, smelly tofu is really popular in Taiwan (or probably any widely Chinese populated countries). They even have smelly tofu stuffed chicken wings, which reminds me that I should learn how to make stuffed chicken wings soon.
Either way, you can find them in underground railway station food stalls and a wide variety of air conditioned places.
20150125_151446
Roomie eating Mee Sua (long thin rice noodles) because she thought it was Oyster Mee Sua, famous in Taiwan.
20150125_151454
Brother-in-law eating chewy hollow doughballs that till now we have no idea what it was made of.

10/10, must learn how to make it.

20150125_151500
I’m not sure what sisi was eating but she sure looks excited about it. I’m thinking it was the dough balls. 
20150125_160831
Actual oyster mee sua and omelet that turned out to be… alright.
I think we’re just all too used to the versions we have in Singapore. The oyster mee sua was okay, though nothing too special. The omelet on the other hand, had this weird sauce that we weren’t used to. Normally, we have ours with a sweet and sour chilli sauce while this one was sweet and starchy. 
20150125_164828 20150125_184152
Here’s a picture of sisi underestimating a cob of corn, slathered and grilled over a charcoal  fire. C’mon, by description alone it can’t be that bad, right?

It was fabulous. I know because I hogged and finished it. Even bought another one on my last day in Taipei. 
20150125_184615 20150125_191833
And to end off day 2, the ultimate party food. I didn’t buy it back (too expensive), though it was certainly entertaining to send to my friend at the end of the day when I finally had wifi back at the hotel. I can’t get over the different coloured ones in the background.

DAY #3
20150126_085403
I got hungry as soon as I woke up on the third day and while waiting for my sister to get ready. Room service was really nice. They replenished the snacks every morning and we would eat them in the night (if we still could) or in the mornings (like what I’m doing in the above picture).
20150126_092353
We went to a roadside porridge stall (courtesy of the extremely helpful and informative hotel concierge) and had every dish the lady had to go with our porridge. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but she seemed extremely thrilled feeding us, even offered us fried eggs to go with everything. The entire meal cost less than 20SGD and we even ordered double servings of meat. Mind. Blown.
20150126_095221
 How can you not take pictures with a totem pole?
20150126_113857 20150126_115331
On the third day, we went up to Jiou Fen and Shi Fen to do some sightseeing as well as eat some more
20150126_115747
If this is where I’m supposed to say the view was amazing, sure. Although I was more distracted by the iced red tea, steamed corn on the cob and Taiwanese sausage that was being sold on the roadside. Yeap, only on day 3 and Taiwan has already ruined everything I know about diets.
20150126_120244 20150126_120328
They closed the road for tourists to walk freely and my sisi just had to go and abuse that in the name of tourist perks. 
20150126_121548 20150126_122409
Found my first Taiwan kitty after seeing dog after dog while I was in Taipei!
20150126_123805 20150126_130042
Everyone’s faces at the end of everything because we were hungry. What’s new. The good news was, we were on our way to food (again). The bad new was that we had to climb back down the hill and take our taxi down to Jiou Fen.
20150126_130257 20150126_131831
Down at Jiou Fen, we let go lanterns for good blessings. Different colours were meant to bless us in different ways. I got the one that was for happiness and I wrote for smoothness in my career (if I could consider what I’m doing right now one) and my love life because I was still feeling a tad bit lonely from my recent trigger. 
20150126_131854 20150126_132004 20150126_132324 20150126_132658 20150126_132831 20150126_133112 20150126_133227 20150126_135421
And finally, FOOD.
20150126_135743
We walked all the way to the other side of the train station to eat stuffed chicken wings.

STUFFED. CHICKEN. WINGS.

Like stuffed with rice. A literal meat burrito. They even had smelly tofu flavour. I should have eaten more of that shit.
20150126_141730 20150126_142143
As you can see, I’m a cold blooded bitch that can stand around taking pictures of herself in a tank top on a windy bridge at 13 degree Celsius.
20150126_142536
20150126_143409
Risked my phone to take this picture of the bro-in-law.
20150126_151253
Because obviously besides him dragging me out of bed randomly at 6am, locking me out of my house, having unfair pillow fights with me etc. , we’re totally best buddies.
20150126_173522
20150126_164401
We found ALOT of food at jiou fen. So much, we thought we were done for the day and it was only 5pm.
By alot, I mean eating 3 different types of beef noodles, 4 bowls of ‘black ball’ style desserts, 2 bowls of I-don’t-know-what-I-just-ate and drunk enough free tea to need to go pee.
20150126_185038
Can you figure out why I took this picture? 
20150126_202550
20150126_203907
We finally sat down for probably one of the most unforgettable beef noodles ever. It was so good, Roomie declared that she didn’t need to drink another bowl of beef soup again for this Taiwan trip. At that point of time, I was so sure I was about to burst but…
20150126_210720
A girl will always have space for dessert, right?
I’d had so much salty food that bubble tea aside, I was officially craving the sweet stuff. Like actual desserts I could find in SG. I’m not sure if that counts for being homesick because I only wanted to eat crepe at that point. 
20150126_210844
20150126_21083320150126_210845
20150126_210931
I don’t eat alot of crepes (the amount of cream gets to me), but this is the first time I’ve had brownies in my crepe and it tasted awesome. Also reminded me how much gyming I had to do when I got back if not they were staying on my hips forever.

And now, a silent comic on how my sister and brother-in-law shared their crepe:
20150126_211212 20150126_211214 20150126_211218 20150126_211221
They did end up sharing the crepe and I must have deleted the picture during reviewing because let’s face it, they aren’t the most glamorous couple there is to date and sometimes watching them do things can be potentially life scarring.

DAY #4
20150127_103041
A very blury picture of day 4 in Taipei. I was feeling a little sick because the food from the day before didn’t sit very well and I didn’t get enough sleep through the night. It was also raining and really cold, not to mention, I was catching Tai-Mei syndrome (people should get this if they’ve been to Taiwan before), evident in the way I was posing in my picture.
20150127_121122
The day’s goal was to visit Taipei 101 (if not friends and family would laugh at us if we didn’t) and eat Din Tai Fung. We didn’t exactly have a plan as to what to do next especially since you could do pretty much do nothing but eat and shop in the city and half our party of foodies were down with sever food coma (me included).

We took a nap (yes, we took a legit nap) at Din Tai Fung because my food coma was so real I was tempted to sponsor the cab back to the hotel and simply sleep the day away. We had no idea where to go from the restaurant but when I awoke from my rather self conscious sleep (because the waiter was pretty cute so I tried so hard to sleep prettily) I had a glorious idea of going souvenir shopping before we headed back. I didn’t know what to buy back for my friends since I practically ate everything already.
20150127_164510
This picture was taken especially for someone. People who know me would know why I took it. I’m not even sure what was being sold in this store.
20150127_164528
Despite swearing off food a mere hour and a half hours of swearing off food for the day, sisi found flavoured waffles and that was basically the end of our food fast.
20150127_171805
We got so distracted by the food in the station that we walked past this sign twice. Also, check out what it says. #I’msofancy
20150127_173351
The main reason why we stayed in the station was because it was pretty cold out in the open, probably about 11 degrees counting the rain and wind. Nonetheless, we ventured out, not quite sure what we’d find and ended up walking all the way back to our hotel. I didn’t complain, I didn’t break a sweat. Not that any of us could in the current weather. We just walked and enjoyed.
20150127_173729
Taiwan Coffee.
I was pretty excited to know how Taiwan liked their coffee. In all honesty, I’m not a big fan. Maybe it’s because everyone prefers tea so the coffee tends to have a very light body -like tea. I wouldn’t recommend, but I guess it was good to at least know what it tasted like.
20150128_142445
On the last day I didn’t take any pictures mainly because we’d spent our time packing. I didn’t get must rest on the last night either so I decided to sleep in and do away with breakfast, though I was regretting it a little when I woke up again.

On the flight back, Roomie got a tad bit sick and couldn’t hold breakfast or lunch down so it came back up. I’m quite sure that she had coffee, or maybe not. Not trying to be gross here, but you can’t help it when someone pukes right next to you.

Anyway, the picture above is one of the last Taiwan sky I saw and probably will see. I’m not sure when I’d go back again, I’m young, the world is dying and it’s a race against time to see everything with limited funds.
20150128_181117
And here is a picture of the welcoming(?) Singapore sky. It was horrendously warm when I touched down, even in the air conditioned airport. But I had no time to complain, I had to rush to a birthday celebration with my ex colleagues all the way in town.

20150128_222641 20150128_231121
Boy reading Yaoi for the first time xD
20150128_233759
Even though I miss Taiwan, it’s good to be back in little Singapore, I guess. I’ve got a job waiting for me, and it feels like my life seemed to straightened itself out while I was away. Either that or I’m still gloriously high on caffeine and ice cream.

My outlook on life has changed quite abit while I was in Taiwan. I want to take things easy, see the world and travel. It’s making me see things differently now. Sure, my triggers are still the same but the world is a big and friendly place and I guess I’m not lonely until I think I am.

Hoping I stay as positive as I am writing this now,
Cherie